RETREATS

Going on retreat offers the precious opportunity to be away from the busyness of London life, surrounded by beautiful countryside and with the benefit of guidance from experienced teachers. Whatever your level of experience its an invaluable way of taking your practice deeper. Below are a selection of upcoming retreats, some outside of the Brixton Sangha but within the overall Triratna Buddhist movement. Firstly, we would most recommend the Brixton Sangha retreats. Going on retreat with people you already know and practise with can be especially conducive to deeper mental states. Dates for our 2023 retreats have just been confirmed – put them in your diaries!

Brixton Sangha Retreats 2023 – Save the date!

In 2023 we’ll have three chances to gather together on retreat. The themes haven’t yet been decided but we know some of you like to plan in advance so here’s a chance to put the dates in your diaries.

20th-22nd January 2023 at Vajrasana – Brixton Open Retreat (all welcome)

22nd-24th September at Vajrasana – Brixton Open Retreat (all welcome)

6th – 8th October at Rivendell – Brixton retreat for Mitras and those in study groups

Retreats for Men: The Great Gathering 14th-16th October

Men’s Open Retreat: The Secret Life of the Buddha 16th-21st October

There are two opportunities for men to join Brixton Sangha teachers at Padmaloka, the men’s retreat centre in Norfolk, this autumn – or combine the two for a seven day Going Deeper retreat.

Firstly, Maitrinara will be co-leading the Great Gathering: The Tantric Symbolism of the Vajra. 

Spiritual power is required to make progress on the path to Enlightenment.

‘The vajra represents power, spiritual power, the power, we may say, that is inherent in Reality itself’
The Symbolism of the Sacred Thunderbolt, Sangharakshita

The Vajra, also known as the diamond thunderbolt, is whatever cuts through our habitual tendencies toward defensiveness and acquisition. On this Great Gathering, through the tantric symbolism of the Vajra, we will be exploring how to uncover and direct those forces which lead to a more radical embrace of life itself.

This is a great opportunity to connect with men from across the movement both in the UK and internationally and to continue to deepen your practice. 

Secondly, and following on from the Great Gathering, Viryanaga and Maitrinara will both be on the team for the Men’s Open Retreat: The Secret Life of the Buddha, 16th – 21st October. 

Buddhism is concerned not with theories and speculations or with mere external displays of religious piety, but with the direct experience, in the depths of our being, of what we truly and essentially are. As such, the Buddhist path to Enlightenment is strewn with creative symbols – images, colour, evocative myths and stories, mantric sound, and rituals – to stir the depths of our consciousness and guide us towards, even give us a glimpse of, this direct experience of Reality.

On this retreat, Padmasagara will give a series of talks on the life of the Buddha as revealed in the scriptures, which are packed full of creative symbols: showers of flower petals, great lotus lakes, fire-breathing dragons, encounters with Mara the Evil One, and various miraculous happenings. We will see how these symbols are not just creative in the abstract, or in the past, or in India or Tibet; they are creative right here and now. Through discussion, meditation, chanting and ritual we will contemplate these creative symbols, allow them to work on us, transform us, energise us, and spark us off in our own spiritual lives so that with increasing confidence we can follow in the Buddha’s footsteps.

You can book onto both retreats for a reduced rate.

Booking Essential (via Padmaloka, here)

This retreat is being organised by Padmaloka Retreat Centre, so please book directly through their website and contact them concerning any questions or queries – https://www.padmaloka.org.uk/

The retreat will be attended by a number of men from the Brixton Buddhist Community, and Viryanaga and Maitrinara will be on the team for this retreat – if you like to travel there together (we’ll be arranging lifts or group travel by train) please contact viryanaga@brixtonbuddhistmeditation.org.